Overdose trial set for July

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Forbes

A Post Falls man charged with killing his girlfriend with a drug overdose will have a trial in July.

Attorneys for Ryan A. Forbes, who is charged with second-degree murder, briefly postponed a hearing Monday to talk with their client, who opted to waive his speedy trial rights and have a jury trial this summer, more than six months after his arrest.

Defendants have six months to have their case heard according to the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant is brought to trial within a reasonably short time.

Forbes, 29, was a registered nurse working in Benewah County when he was accused of giving his girlfriend, 19-year-old Cathryn Mason, the drugs she used to overdose. Forbes was indicted for second-degree murder in December while in jail on a probation violation.

A month ago at his arraignment, Forbes chose not to enter a plea, so a not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Defense attorney Jay Logsdon said he and Kootenai County public defender Anne Taylor could not be adequately prepared for a trial any time before June.

Because he was unavailable in June, First District Judge Lansing Haynes set the trial for two weeks beginning July 10 in Coeur d’Alene.

Forbes was a registered nurse at Benewah Community Hospital in St. Maries in May 2014 when Mason was found dead in his bedroom in the Post Falls home where he lived with his parents.

Evidence showed Mason, a Post Falls High School graduate and popular NIC student and Forbes used opiates together, according to court records. Two weeks before her death, Mason had overdosed on 30 milligrams of Forbes’ methadone, according to court testimony.

Forbes was terminated from the hospital the year Mason died, and was arrested on drug charges after her death. He ultimately served in a prison drug rehabilitation program and was released on probation. He is in the Kootenai County Jail on a $74,000 bond.

At a June 21 pretrial conference, attorneys will have a chance to address issues pertaining to the trial.

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